Volunteer for Medical Care in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Zanzibar, Tanzania

73 People are researching this program

Volunteering Solutions

(52 Reviews)
  • From $735 USD for 1 Week

  • 1 - 16 Weeks

  • Select Start Dates

  • 18 And Older



The medical volunteer program in Zanzibar is ideal for pre-med, medical, and nursing students who are looking for international medical work experience that will definitely distinguish one’s medical profile. The healthcare system in Zanzibar is facing real infrastructural and administrative challenges, including inadequate staff and a challenging patient-doctor ratio. If you are ready to roll up your sleeves, work with committed medical professionals to provide compassionate care, and see interesting cases, this is the project for you.

During your time in Tanzania, you'll spend the weekday hours between 8:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. volunteering at the hospital or clinic. In the middle of the day, you'll get a break for lunch between 1:00 p.m. and 2:45 p.m; volunteer work after lunch depends on the requirements of your placement. Please note that different placements have varying schedules and rhythms, so your routine may vary slightly from this typical schedule. The tasks that you'll be assigned during the day will depend greatly on your level of education and previous experience.

Your role as a volunteer in the medical program will be primarily to assist the local staff on duty. Volunteers placements are made in 2 hospitals across the following departments: Nursing, Medicine, Midwifery, and Physiotherapy. Your responsibilities could range anywhere from assisting local staff with basic administrative duties to more advanced procedures and anything in between. Volunteers can assist in:

- The maternity ward

- The eye clinic

- Dental department

- Women, children and men wards for general health issues

- Gynaecology Department

- Theatre for surgeries

- Physiotherapy (3 physiotherapists work here)

- First Aid department

- Laboratory and research

- X-ray facilities

Tanzania is a beautiful and unique country, and the things you see, hear, do, and experience here will stay with you for a lifetime. On top of giving you a head start on your medical career, this volunteer travel opportunity will also give you the chance to see Zanzibar in a way that most travelers never will, and that includes living and experiencing the city like a local.

During the evenings and on weekends, you'll have free time to:

- Visit the old forts, museums and beautiful streets of Stone Town.

- Eat all the seafood you can at Forodhani Gardens in the evening.

- Go on a spice tour to see how cloves, nutmeg and much more are grown.

- Go swimming in crystal clear water.

- Snorkel or dive to some of the most beautiful reefs of the world.

- Relax and live the island lifestyle!

Arrival and Orientation

It is very important that you inform your program coordinators about your travel arrangements so they can prepare to pick you up. You can either fly straight to Zanzibar (instead of Nairobi, Kilimanjaro or other international airports) or fly to Dar es Salaam. If you fly to Dar es Salaam, you must take a cab to the ferry, where you can buy a ticket for the relaxing 40 minute boat ride to Zanzibar.

Upon arrival at either the airport or ferry terminus, you will be welcomed by the program coordinator who will show you around and take you to your accommodation. If you're already in Tanzania, you can arrange to be picked up by a coordinator at a designated meeting point instead. For the remainder of the day, you'll have time to get settled in, meet your fellow volunteers, and head out to explore the city if you're feeling adventurous.

On the next day, there will be an orientation to welcome you to the city, and to go over important information, such as the culture and language in Tanzania, staying safe in the city, appropriate behavior when you're out and about, and where to get the best food. You’ll also find out where to go for money and other necessities, getting around, and things you should check out during your visit.


The volunteer house is close to the airport and located in Mbwemi just outside of Stone Town. Mbwemi is safe, and the volunteer house, itself, has a garden with a secure wall and gate.

Your home abroad will be shared with the coordinator, Francis, and other volunteers. It accommodates up to 8 volunteers in 2 different rooms with 2 bathrooms. Generally, there are only 2 to 6 volunteers living in the volunteer house; July and August are the most popular times of year when the house is likely to be full. In addition to the sleeping quarters, the house has a living room, dining room, and kitchen.

Sheets are provided, but it is recommended that you bring your own towel(s). Mosquito nets are also provided on most beds, but feel free to bring your own nets. Don’t worry if you don’t have enough space in your suitcase; it is cheap to buy things locally.

You won’t be roughing it, but the accommodation is basic. Showers do not have hot water, but you’ll welcome a cold shower in the hot weather!

In walking distance to the volunteer house, the main thoroughfare has food stalls to buy fresh juices, Mandazi (local doughnuts) and any other basic needs. Two popular bars with fast internet and a supermarket with some imported (and expensive) treats are only a twenty minute walk away.


Meals are provided 3 times a day by the cook. The Zanzibar cuisine includes meat, chicken, seafood and vegetarian dishes. There are several restaurants and places with food to go near the accommodations.

Field Conditions

The majority of your volunteer hours will be spent in a hospital setting. Volunteer placements are coordinated through 2 hospitals in Zanzibar.

Zanzibar, a part of Tanzania is an archipelago located in the Indian Ocean, off the shore of the African mainland. Just south of the equator, Zanzibar is hot and tends to be a little more humid than Tanzania. Generally the main rainy season, or the 'long rains', last during March, April and May. Afternoon tropical downpours are the norm – which can be heavy on any of the islands.

Stone Town, where you are likely to spend a great deal of your free time is Zanzibar’s historic centre and a World Heritage Site. In a conservative and mostly Muslim town, conservative dress is encouraged. As it turns out, long sleeved tops and loose trousers or knee length skirts are better for fighting the heat and humidity than bare skin.

Your Impact

Your daily duties during the medical volunteer program will vary depending on your skill, experience, and education. Volunteers are relied upon to:

- Suture wounds

- Give vaccinations

- Transporting patients from one service point to another

- Take rounds of the wards

- Maintain files

- Perform routine patient checkups like blood pressure, pulse, and temperature checks

The unique issues faced by this medical community will challenge you to come out of comfort zone and help tackle real problems faced in many developing countries abroad. These challenges include but are not limited to: a lack of adequate staff, limited resources, and long queues of patients waiting to be treated. For example, when wards do not have their own sterilization facilities, you’ll face the logistical challenge of sending everything to the main hospital to be sterilized.


Zanzibar, Tanzania
  • Where you will be volunteering
    zanzibar, tanzania

    Volunteers will work in one of two hospitals.

  • Where you'll be staying
    Mbwemi, zanzibar, tanzania

    Volunteers will be staying in a volunteer house.

  • Nearest Airport
    Kisauni Airport, Zanzibar


<p>The cost includes a $250 application fee.</p>

1 Week
16 Weeks
1 Week

$735 USD

What’s Included

  • Travel & Medical Insurance (Available at an extra cost)

  • Offer of tours and outings in the weekends (extra costs can apply)

  • Guidance and supervision during your stay

  • Meals (3 meals a day)

  • Accommodation (shared rooms)

  • First Day Introduction at the Project and Surroundings

  • Personal Collection Upon Arrival at Airport or Ferry

  • 24 hrs Assistance and Support from Staff

What’s Not Included

  • Transport on the Island with Local Taxis, Bicycle, or Private Transport

  • Own Drinks and Luxury Items

  • Insurances

  • Air tickets

Project Start Dates

Projects are available on select Sundays and are available year-round.


Volunteering Solutions is a highly respected and accredited organization that coordinates volunteer abroad opportunities for high school students, individuals, couples, and even corporate groups. They’ve been running volunteer traveling programs since 2006, and in that time, they’ve helped more than 12,000 volunteers complete trips that have been life changing not only for them but also for the people they’ve helped. Volunteering Solutions operates in 19 countries, and provides over 100 types of volunteering and interning options in areas like child care, medical, education, conservation, community development, and much more. By coordinating volunteer efforts with local social welfare organizations around the world, Volunteering Solutions guarantees that your impact truly benefits the people you're there to help.

To help you get the most out of your journey, and to make the trip as safe and stress-free as possible, Volunteering Solutions takes care of the placement, accommodations, travel, meals, and security for each volunteer. That way, you're free to focus your attention on what's important, like helping the community, helping the people, growing as an individual, and exploring a new country, new cultures, and new practices.

Reviews (52)


Dec 03, 2017

To give a summary, the last five weeks have been the most amazing five weeks of my life.
When arriving at the center you are warmly welcomed and shown around. It is a lot to take in because the center is pretty big and there are a lot of animals ...

Xinyi Yang

Sep 27, 2017

It's a interesting journey. In this journey I tried a lot thing that are first time.

Shuwen Tang

Sep 26, 2017

This volunteer experience for me is very meaningful. I was really enjoy the two weeks I spent in Thailand. I knew many new things, the stuffs are all very responsive and the members in our group are very nice. That was a challenge for me to be a volunteer, with ... +more


Sep 25, 2017

The trip was really awesome. It was my first time to go outside Europe and this project was the ideal thing to do for the first time! It is a good combination between different volunteering projects, travelling, and being with international people. The week in Mr. Lee's elephant village ... +more

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